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School administrator pay continues to rise

School administrator pay continues to rise

Top earners' increases slowing
School administrator pay continues to rise
Shenendehowa Superintendent Oliver Robinson is one of five top Capital Region school administrators earning more than $250,000.
Photographer: Gazette file photograph

The region’s top school administrators will see more money in their paychecks next school year as administrator pay is set to climb at a rate just over 2.5 percent across the region in proposed school budgets.

There are more than 135 school administrators – superintendents, assistant superintendents, department directors and school principals – in 38 Capital Region district who are set to make at least $135,000 next school year, according to annual salary and benefits data published last week by the state Education Department.

The total number of administrators making the threshold pay of $135,000 next year remained relatively flat compared to the current school year, but the average pay of those administrators is set to grow by 2.6 percent – from just over $173,000 this year to nearly $178,000 next year.

The pace of administrator pay growth going into next year is also greater than it has been in recent years. Last year, average administrator pay grew by 1.4 percent; the year before it grew by less than a half percent.

Five district superintendents in the Capital Region, the region’s highest paid educators, are set to make over $250,000 next year in salary and benefits:

- Shenendehowa Superintendent Oliver Robinson, $296,535;

- South Colonie Superintendent Jonathan Buhner, $294,740;

- Troy Superintendent John Carmello, $273,657;

- Guilderland Superintendent Marie Wiles, $263,442; and

- Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring, $263,017.

In Schenectady, Spring has received an over 10 percent salary boost since starting with the district in 2012. Last summer, after the school board approved a 2 percent raise for Spring and for the first time lifted his base salary above $200,000, then-Board President Cathy Lewis said if the board didn’t extend the superintendent contract, he may take it as a sign to look elsewhere for a job.

“We are pleased with what is happening in the district, the initiatives that have been taken, the fact his advocacy efforts have begun to pay off with increased funding,” Lewis said at the time of Spring’s most recent raise.

Superintendents remain the highest paid administrators, though some of the region’s lower paid superintendents are paid less than some of the higher paid assistant superintendents and principals in other districts. The Fonda-Fultonville superintendent, for instance, makes approximately $131,000; Schenectady High School Principal earns more than $150,000. All districts are required to disclose superintendent pay as part of annual budget documents.

But superintendent pay has grown slower than the administrative positions as a whole in recent years. While the average pay of all administrators in the region about the reporting threshold grew by 5.4 percent since 2014, superintendent pay grew 2.6 percent.

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